Craig Calcaterra

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27:  Former ESPN Analyst Curt Schilling talks about his ESPN dismissal and politics during SiriusXM's Breitbart News Patriot Forum hosted Stephen K. Bannon and co-host Alex Marlow at the SiriusXM Studio on April 27, 2016 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Curt Schilling agrees to pay back $2.5 million to the State of Rhode Island

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Back in 2012 the State of Rhode Island sued Curt Schilling and his business parters in 38Studios in the wake of the collapse of the company. The suit centered on $75 million in loan guarantees from the state to Schilling’s video game company. Rhode Island claimed that Schilling and his partners committed fraud, alleging that they mischaracterized the business prospects and health of the company and claiming that they knew that they couldn’t pay back the loan. Schilling has vehemently and consistently denied the allegations and claimed that he was a scapegoat, blamed by politicians for political purposes.

I’m sure there was some degree of truth to each side of that, along with a heaping helping of B.S. to both sides of that. What’s clear is that after several years of civil litigation and criminal investigation, nothing has come of it for anyone. It was probably a good time to settle. And so they have:

Former Red Sox pitcherCurt Schilling and others have agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle their part of a lawsuit brought over Rhode Island’s disastrous $75 million deal with 38 Studios, his failed video game company.

Schilling and his co-defendants admit not wrongdoing or liability as part of the settlement. The statement issued by the State that it “makes no economic sense whatsoever” for the parties to proceed to trial rather than settle, suggests that, even if liability could be shown, there was no way that they were going to get much more than this out of the defendants, making this a settlement of efficiency more than anything else. There are still various actions in play against banks and financial advisors and stuff, all of whom have deeper pockets than Schilling and his partners.

Now Schilling can turn the page on this and get back to doing what he truly loves: sharing awful political memes on social media while entertaining delusions about his future political career.

(thanks to Bert Beaton for the heads up)

Rob Manfred says the Rangers are at “a competitive disadvantage” without a new ballpark

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 24: The Texas Rangers logo to the entrance of the press box is shown before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
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Rob Manfred made a trip to the Metroplex yesterday to stump for the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark. A ballpark that depends on hundreds of million of taxpayer dollars which, in turn, depend on a ballot issue in the upcoming election passing.

So, obviously, having the Commissioner of Baseball tell voters that dire, dire things will happen if the Rangers don’t get that ballpark is a good idea. The Commish stumped, saying that the Dallas climate is a “competitive disadvantage” for the Rangers. You know, the Rangers who have won 90 or more games five of the last seven years and four division crowns in that time.

Of course, the Commissioner’s definition of “competitive” does not really refer to baseball. At least not in this context. It refers to financial competitiveness, and the Rangers new ballpark is all about maximizing the dough the Rangers can rake in if they get a new stadium.

If you doubt that, look at how the Rangers are touting the “Texas Live” complex, of which the ballpark will be a part:

Note: most of that is devoted to renderings of large, cavernous entertainmentplex-style bars and restaurants and clubs where people will pay top dollar to get into a place where they’ll be allowed to pay top dollar for food and drinks while watching the Rangers on video screens. Such is the way of the world with the modern “ballpark” experience these days, but the Rangers’ vision of this seems particularly detached from baseball and its typical aesthetic. Indeed, it looks like that crappy rave from the beginning of “The Matrix: Reloaded.”

But hey, at least the Rangers won’t be at a “competitive disadvantage” if the taxpayers of Arlington give them all that money to finance their real estate play.

The Giants win, but two key players suffer injuries in the process

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants is escorted off the field by a trainer at the end of the top of the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Giants actually winning a close game rather than blowing it in the ninth is news. Good news for them. But there was some bad news along the way as starting pitcher Johnny Cueto and shortstop Brandon Crawford each went down with injuries.

Cueto left last night’s start against the Dodgers in the sixth inning with a left groin strain. He seemed optimistic after the game, but he’ll have an MRI today in order to see if there’s cause for worry. He’s scheduled to start on Sunday and would have one more start after that before the season ends if he doesn’t have to miss time.

Less uncertainty surrounds Crawford, who dislocated left pinkie finger while sliding into third base. Crawford is considered day-to-day, but Bruce Bochy said last night that he’ll get a couple of days off, most likely.

The Giants have 11 games left and are tied with the Cardinals and Mets for the two Wild Card slots in the National League.